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Other Books in Series
This is book number 1 in the Library of America Peter Taylor Edition series.
The Library of America recently has added to its now 300+ volume list two books that comprise the Complete Stories of Peter Taylor. The Tennessean whose Southern postmodernist peers—all born within ten years of Taylor (1917)—included Walker Percy, Richard Wright, Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Eudora Welty, William Styron and Flannery O'Connor. Of these, Welty, O'Connor and Taylor were the unquestioned short story masters. Edited and with an introduction by Ann Beattie, who will be here for the Book Conference to read from her own work and talk about Peter Taylor.— From Richard's 2018 Picks
For the first time, the complete short stories of the master chronicler of tradition and transformation in the twentieth-century American South
Born and raised in Tennessee, Peter Taylor was the great chronicler of the American Upper South, capturing its gossip and secrets, its divided loyalties and morally complicated legacies in tales of pure-distilled brilliance. Now, for his centennial year, the Library of America and acclaimed short story writer Ann Beattie present an unprecedented two-volume edition of Taylor’s complete short fiction, all fifty-nine of the stories published in his lifetime in the order in which they were composed.
This first volume offers twenty-nine early masterpieces, including such classics as “A Spinster’s Tale,” “What You Hear from ’Em?,” “Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time” and “Miss Leonora When Last Seen.” As a special feature, an appendix in the first volume gathers three stories Taylor published as an undergraduate that show the early emergence of his singular style and sensibility.
“I think the real accomplishment of Peter Taylor may be to have conjured the great slow shapes of epic and tragedy, so they can be glimpsed in the little segment of an ordinary life, restoring to our myths their most unsettling implications.” —Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Gilead
About the Author
Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor (1917-1994) was the author of fifty-nine published stories, several plays, and three novels, including A Summons to Memphis (1986) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning In the Tennessee Country (1994). In 1978 he was awarded the Gold Medal in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1993 the PEN/Malamud Award for his lifetime contribution to the art of the short story.
Ann Beattie, editor, is the author of nine novels and eleven short story collections. She is a recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award, both given in acknowledgment of her lifetime contribution to the art of the story. She is the former Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, where one of her colleagues was Peter Taylor.
“The undisputed master of the short-story form.” --Anne Tyler
“Only Eudora Welty has acomplished a body of fiction so rich, durable, and accessible as Taylor’s.”
"The stories in these volumes define their time and place with an unrivaled precision."
--Michael Gorra, in The New York Review of Books